Music stars from the world of Nashville assembled last night (Oct. 30) at the Grand Ole Opry to pay tribute to country legend Loretta Lynn, who died Oct. 4 at the age of 90. The event aired live and commercial free on CMT and will be repeated in the same format on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.
Dressed in a brown suit and with his bright blue hair peaking out from under a brown hat, Jack White made an unannounced appearance to perform “Van Lear Rose,” the title track from the 2004 collaborative album he made with Lynn. The project went on to win Grammys for best country album and best country collaboration with vocals.
Brandi Carlile performed twice during the taping, first with a solo rendition of Lynn’s “She’s Got You” and then as part of the finale with her group the Highwomen, who closed the evening with “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
Other performers included Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, George Strait, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Margo Price, Tanya Tucker, and Wynonna with Gaither Vocal Band. Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, and Reba McEntire shared pre-recorded messages. “Women of country music could not be where we are today without Loretta Lynn,” Martina McBride said from the stage.
The event was also a family affair, with Lynn’s granddaughter Emmy Russell teaming with Willie Nelson’s son Lukas for a performance of “Lay Me Down,” the first song the elder Lynn and Nelson recorded together back in 2016.